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John Fell.

Deamoniacs : an enquiry into the heathen and the scripture doctrine of daemons ; in which the hypotheses of the Rev. Mr. Farmer, and others on this subject, are particularly considered online

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DEMONIACS.



DiEMONIACS,

AN ENQ^UIRY INTO TH;e

HEATHEN AND THE SCRIPTURE




D JE M N S.

INWHICHTHE

HYPOTHESES of the REV. MR. FARMER,

AND OTHERS ON THIS SUBJECT,
ARE PARTICULARLY CONSIDERED.



By J O H N F E L L.



^idfuerum — euro l^ rogo i^ omnis in hoc f urn. HoR.



LONDON:

PRINTED FOR CHARLES DILLY, IN THE POULTRY-



M.DCC.LXXIX.



!;j93lO



.X^:U3



1



CONTENTS.

NTRODUCTION Page vli-xv

CHAP. I.

The Judgment of the Heathens concerning their
own Gods, examined, and fairly ftated i — 33

CHAP. II.

The Teftimony of Scripture concerning Heathen
Gods — -_ ^ 34— 8d

CHAP. III.

Concerning the Heathen Demons, and the various
Application of that Term among the ancient
Greeks __ — _ 81—120

CHAP. IV.

Concerning the Demons mentioned in the Gofpel,
and the Application of that Term by the facred
Penmen — — 120—166

CHAP. V.

The Arguments alledged againft the Scripture Doc-
trine concerning Dsemoniacs, examined, and {hewn
to be inconclufive — — 167 — 242

CHAP. VI.

The Principles on which Mr. Farmer denies the
Agency of fuperior Beings withm the Limits of
the human Syftem, examined, and fhewn to be
either inapplicable to the Gofpel Demoniacs,
or a flat Contradidion to the Holy Scriptures
— — — 243—278

A3 CHAP.



CONTENTS.

CHAP. VII.

The Scripture Dodrine concerning Angels both
Good and Evil, and their Agency within the
human Syftem, briefly examined and ftated ; to-
gether with the Confequences of their In-
fluence — ■ — 278—313

CHAP. vm.

The Scripture Account of thofe Cafes which are
termed Dsemoniacal Pofleffions j with an Exami-
nation of the Caufe that hath been lately afligned
for fuch Diforders 3^3— 340

C H A P. IX.

'The Scripture Doctrine concerning Dsemoniacal
Pofleffions fhewn to be confiftent with many
Appearances, both in the natural and nioral

LWorld — — 340—376

CHAP. X.

That the facred Penmen not only aflert but alfo pro-
duce different Fads, in order to prove the Reality
of Daemoniacal Pofleffions — 377-~399

THE CONCLUSION.

A fummary View of thvfe injurious Confequences
which have been alluded to in the preceding Work

400 — End



3NTR0DUCTI0N,



[ vii ]



INTRODUCTION.



TT hath been affirmed by fever al learned

writers^ that the D'^moniacs mentioned in

the Gofpel^ were perfons labouring e'nly under

natural difeafes^ fuch as a deep melancholy, mad-

nefs^ or epilepfy, and not at all affe&ed by any

evil fpirits. This opinion was intimated abovf

an hundred years ago, by Mr. Jofeph Mede,

and, about forty year's fince, urged with great

vehemence by Br. Sykes ; when it was as

warmly oppofed by fome other divines. The

fame hypothefis was afterwards taken up by Dr.

Lardner in his Cafe of the Demoniacs of

the New Tcflamcnt -, and is now revized

again and inforced by the Reverend Hugh Farmer,

in his EfTay on the Demoniacs of the New

Teftament ; the defign of which work is }d

ffjezv, " that the diforde'rs, iiliputed to fuper-

natural poffeff ens, proceed from natural C(iufeSy

'* not from the agency of any evil fpirits *.'*

• Introduftion, p. 2.

A 4 Mh)ugh



viii I N T R O D U C T lO-K. *

'Although we entertain not the leaft doubt con-
cerning the reality of thofe damoniacal pojfejfions
ajferted in t'.e Go/pel; yet the arguments, urged
of late in defence of the contrary opinion, have
excited our .attention and concern more than the
opinion itfelf. It is not merely, therefore, the
doSlrine in difpute that we judge to be of fuch
dangerous tendency, but the principles on which
it is grounded, the reafoning made ufe of for its fup-
port, and the caufes affigned for thofe particular
calamities, which are, by the facred penmen,
afcribed to the influence of evil fpirits. 'The
fubje£i, as it hath been managed by fome of the
lafi writers on demoniacs, now becomes inter efiing^
and affects both the nature of morality, and the
truth of the Holy Scriptures.

As we wifh to avoid all mifreprefentations of
other men^s fentiments, we hope that fome allow-
ance, will be made for frequent and necejfary
quotations, to make it evident that we do not im-
pute to any author opinions which he never main-
tained. For want of care in this refpe^l, ground-
lefs prejudices are often raifed againjl thofe who
are of a perfuafion different from our own. It
would frequently fave much trouble, prevent many
an unjufi cenfure, and throw great light iipon the
fithjcB in debate J if thofe who differ in their fen-

timentSy



INTRODUCTION. ix

merits^- when they write one againji another, would
but calmly and exa5ily fiate the particular articles
concerning which they really differ.

We trujl that nothing will be advanced in the
following treatife, which can be jujlly confidered
as favouring ridiculous tales and lying wonderSy
or as encouraging a vain and groundlefs fuperjli"
tion ; fince our bufmefs is only with certain faSls
related in the Scriptures. We fhall therefore
endeavour , firjl, to Jiate and examine the hypo-
thefes and arguments that are urged againji the
plain and obvious fenje of holy writ concerning
poffeffons by evil fpirits -, and then, conftder the
principles and reafoning on which the poffibility of
any fuch agency , as that fuppofed in demoniacal
cafes, is abfolutely denied.

The learned writers, who oppofe what is called
the vulgar and abfurd notion of pofeffions, main-
tain, that the more immediate obje^s of religious
worfhip among the Heathens were dead men, or
departed human fpirits ; that, the word damon is
not only ufed by the Heathens themfelves for their
deities, but alfo by the f acred writers for the
objects of Pagan worjhip, which the prophets of
God always affirm to be dead men-, that, the
apojiks, when jpeaking of poffeffton, ufe this

phrafe



X INTRODUCTION.

phrafe in the fame fenfe, and by demons under-
fiand nothing more than the fouls of deceafed per-
fons ; and thaty ftme the Holy Scriptures every
where affure us^ that the Heathen deities or
damons have no power to do either good or
harniy much lefs to work miracles^ it follows^
that there never was, nor could be, a real demo-
niac in the world *. Such is the reafoning which
Is oppofed to the common interpretation of thofe
paffages, in the Gofpely that relate to pojfejjions
hy evil fpirits. l!he following examples will fuf-
ficiently intimate Mr, Farmer's opinion concerning
the Pagan Gods, " Notwithjlanding the magni-
" ficent titles hy which the Heathens defer ib'e
" their fupreme deity ^ yet they do at the fame
^' time inform us, that he had a father and a
" mother, a grandfather and a grandmother, and
" was of the fame kindred with the other gods
*' of whom he was chief ^^ — It farther appears,
" that deified human fpirits were (according to
*' the Pagan fyflem of theology) affociated with
** and reprefented the natural gods, and that
*' both were called by the fame names. I'he
*' fun, or aether, or air, or whatever other

• Lardner's Cafe of Dem. Difc. 2d. Farm. Eflay on
Dem. p. 152 — 240.

f On Mir. p. 176, ly?*

" part



INTRODUCTION. xi

" p^ri of nature was efieemed the fupreme deity
*' of the Pagans, was called in Egypt, Oftris %
*' in Chaldea, and Phenicia, Bel or Baal j and
in many other countries, Jupiter. NoWy it ii
" univ erf ally known, thai Jupiter, BclandQJirH
" had once been mortal men, who were fuppofcd
** to be advanced after death to a deified: fiatel
" For the fame reafons therefore, for which thd
*' chief Heathen Numen was ' 'calkd\ Ofiris,
" or Bel, or Jupiter, he might be called a
dietnon; fuppofing the word to denote- a
** deifed human fpirit. It was under this
laft character that he was principally re^
' garded by the common people *. — *That
" the more immediate objects of popular ado-
" ration amongfi the Heathens were deified
** human beings, is a fa6i attefted by all an-
tiquity, whether Pagan, Jewifh, or iOhrif-
" tianj.^* On this very principle, our author
grounds dnd fupports y^> Efiay on the Demo-
niacs of the New Teftament. In that trea-
tife he thus Jkitis his fubjeEl, and introduces
his arguments : " We have elfewherc % V.v-
" amined the meaning


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Online LibraryJohn FellDeamoniacs : an enquiry into the heathen and the scripture doctrine of daemons ; in which the hypotheses of the Rev. Mr. Farmer, and others on this subject, are particularly considered → online text (page 1 of 23)